|2007 Chevrolet HHR
Chevy's Retro Ride Returns in Panel
October 26, 2006
The retro-styled HHR is an
economical modern hot rod with a natural inclination toward
customization. In the year since its introduction there have been
numerous custom examples to show how well the HHR could work in panel truck
form. The HHR was designed with heavy influence from the 1949
Chevy Suburban, which was essentially a panel truck with windows in
the sides. By filling the rear windows, and sometimes even completely
welding the rear doors shut, the HHR turns into a panel wagon.
Until now such a conversion was an
expensive one-off endeavor. The idea is not new, for many years the PT
cruiser has been modified to look like a panel wagon, and the
aftermarket has even created conversion kits to ease the process. But
now GM has taken the HHR one step farther than Chrysler did with the
PT, giving the green light to a factory panel version of the HHR, scheduled to hit showrooms in 2007.
On the outside, the 2007 HHR Panel is much like a normal HHR,
except for the window-less rear doors and rear side panels. The floor
inside is flat, with storage bins in place of the rear seats. The result is
more than 57 cubic feet of cargo space, along with 6 cubic feet of
under-floor storage. With all that space the HHR Panel is well suited
to small business use as a high-mileage delivery vehicle, as well as a
starting point for auto enthusiasts looking for extra customization
options. By removing the rear windows a
continuous expanse of sheet metal has been created created that would
be suitable for a company logo, advertising, or custom graphics.
The rear side doors on the HHR Panel lack external handles; they have
to be released from the inside by using handles or from a dashboard release button.
To aid in utility, an auxiliary power outlet has been placed in the
rear the cargo area, giving a healthy 40-amps to power electronic
equipment. Due to a lack of rear seats, the HHR
Panel can only accommodate two passengers, but the flat cargo floor has tie-down points
throughout the floor to hold down a multitude of cargo. Inside the
side cargo doors you will find two large storage compartments under
the flat cargo floor. When equipped with With optional locks, these
compartments provide secure out-of-sight storage.
HHR Panel will be available in both LS and LT
trim. Both trim levels offer the standard 2.2L engine rated at 149
horsepower, and the LT model provides the optional 2.4L engine rated
at 175 horsepower. Both engines offer up to 30 mpg on the highway.
Other features include power front seats, various radios with MP3
capability, XM Satellite Radio and OnStar. LT models also have
available 17-inch wheels and leather seating.
HHR Panel production is scheduled to begin late in the first Quarter